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Life cycle assessment introduction


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Life cycle assessment introduction

  1. 1. GEO, 2010 SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT 28TH May 2010 Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy, CEO, GEO Centre for Social Initiative and Management
  2. 2. GEO, 2010 What does it mean to be Green?? What is Sustainability?? What does it mean to be Green?? What is Sustainability?? What does it mean to be Green?? What is Sustainability?? What does it mean to be Green?? What is Sustainability?? What does it mean to be Green?? What is Sustainability??
  3. 3. GEO, 2010 Sustainability United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Sustainable Development definition: “… development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” • Biodegradable • Recyclable • Ozone friendly • Eco-design • Greenwashing• Environmentally Friendly • Sustainable Products • Green product • Environmentally Preferable
  4. 4. GEO, 2010 What Can the Earth Handle? Population (2007) Annual Growth Rate (00 – 07) World 6.7 Billion 1.24% LDC 5.4 Billion 1.44% MDC 1.2 Billion 0.36% US 301 Million 1.03% World Population Statistics UN Population Division• The estimate of Earth’s Maximum supportable population is 13.4 billion. • Looking at the population statistics, where are we headed? Renewable Energy Source Will Limit Our Growth! Average per capita energy consumption is 3 kW/person •US 12 kW/person •Industrialized 7.5 kW/person •Denmark 5.1 kW/person •Developing 1kW/person
  5. 5. GEO, 2010 Being Green is Trendy . . . . . . . . . . . What Does Science Say? • Industry is looking for ways to green their products and manufacturing processes. • Individuals and Families are looking to green their homes and lifestyles. • How can you tell if something really is green?? • What is currently happening to achieve this goal? • Scientists perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  6. 6. GEO, 2010 Definition: “Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle” This establishes an environmental profile of the system! ISO = International Organization for Standardization Ensures that an LCA is completed in a certain way. WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH LCA? 1.Product or project development and improvement 2.Strategic planning 3.Public policy making 4.Marketing and eco- declarations
  7. 7. GEO, 2010 • Producing one ton of recycled steel saves the energy equivalent of 3.6 barrels of oil and 1.5 tons of iron ore, compared to the production of new steel? • Producing paper using a chlorine-free process uses between 20 and 25 percent less water than conventional chlorine-based paper production processes?
  8. 8. GEO, 2010 Worldwatch Institute, Worldwatch Paper 166: Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet, July 2003,
  9. 9. GEO, 2010 Life Cycle Assessment A process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and wastes released into the environment; to assess the impact of those energy and material uses and releases to the environment; and to identify and evaluate opportunities to affect environmental improvements. (SETAC, 1991)
  10. 10. GEO, 2010 Product Life Cycle Raw Material Acquisition Material Processing Manufacture & Assembly Use & Service Retirement & Recovery Treatment Disposal open-loop recycle reuse remanufacture closed-loop recycle M, E W W W W W M, E M, E M, E M, EM, E W M, E = Material and Energy inputs to process and distribution W = Waste (gas, liquid, or solid) output from product, process, or distribution Material flow of product component
  11. 11. GEO, 2010 What Makes Up LCA • Goal & Scope Definition What is the purpose of the LCA and who is the audience? • Inventory Analysis (LCI) 1. What is the function & functional unit? 2. Where are the boundaries? 3. What data do you need? 4. What assumptions are you making? 5. Are there any limitations? • Impact Assessment (LCIA) What are the environmental, social, and economic affects? • Interpretation Ways to reduce environmental impacts. What conclusions can you draw from the study? What recommendations can be made?
  12. 12. GEO, 2010 Items To Consider?? Inputs What is needed to make the substance! 1. Energy 2. Materials 3. Labor Outputs What comes out of the system! 1. Products (electricity, materials, goods, services) 2. Waste 3. Emissions 4. Co-products
  13. 13. GEO, 2010 Data Collection Life Cycle Inventory Analysis 1. Time-sensitive = past 5 years 2. Geographical = does it match the location from the goal 3. Technology = best available technology for process 4. Representativeness = reflects population of interest 5. Consistency = matches the procedure 6. Reproducibility = another person could find it Never Forget . . . . . . . Precision: The consistent reproducibility of a measurement Completeness: Covers all the areas outlined in the scope
  14. 14. GEO, 2010 LCA in Action: Think About It! Paper Plate vs. China (Plate You Wash & Reuse)  What is the function?  What is the functional unit?  What materials & resources are used?  What does it take to produce both?  What are the impacts to the environment?  Is there waste?  Does washing the China produce waste?  What types of data do you need?  How do you know which is better?
  15. 15. GEO, 2010 Data Analysis Environmental Impact Categories Global Warming Potential • Gases in the atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation • Trap heat from the sun • Water vapor, CO2 , CH4 , ozone, NO2 Abiotic Depletion • Consumption of non- living resources Human Toxicity Potential • Value that shows harms to humans from chemicals Land Use • How much land is needed
  16. 16. GEO, 2010 Environmental Impact Categories Continued . . . . . Eutrophication • Increase in chemical nutrients containing nitrogen or phosphorus • land or water • overgrowth of plants • killing organisms at bottom of water Water Use Mercury Acidification • caused by pollution from fuels & acid rain • low pH Smog (Winter or Summer) Energy Use Solid Waste Oil . . . . . . . AND MANY MORE!!
  17. 17. GEO, 2010 Where Do We Go From Here? • What is the purpose of all this data?? • Scientists can make recommendations of choices that are less impactful • Scientists can analyze a particular impact and focus on a solution • Industry & Individuals can take a closer look at how they can make a difference Class Project Evaluate 2 products using the LCA method and make change!
  18. 18. GEO, 2010 Where Does Our “Stuff” Come From? Let’s check it out with . . . . “The Story of Stuff”
  19. 19. GEO, 2010 What is LCA? • Enables estimation of cumulative environmental impacts results from all stages of the product life cycle • A “cradle-to-grave” approach “for assessing the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product by; – compiling an inventory of relevant inputs and outputs of a system – evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with these inputs and outputs – interpreting the results of the inventory and impact phases in relation to the objectives of the study.” (ISO 14040)
  20. 20. GEO, 2010 Raw Materials Materials Processing Product Manufacture Retail Outlets Product Use and Service Reuse - Recycling Disposal Materials Energy Transport Water Effluents Air Emissions Solid Wastes Other Releases Usable Products Areas covered by LCA
  21. 21. T-shirt example (cotton) • Growing • Harvesting • Spinning • Weaving/knitting • Bleaching, dyeing, washing and treatment • Cutting and sewing • Use - reuse • Disposal - recycling Use and maintenance Disposal/end of life Processing of materials Production Extraction of materials
  22. 22. GEO, 2010 Objectives of LCA • To provide a complete a picture as possible of the interactions of an activity with the environment. • To contribute to the understanding of the overall and interdependent nature of the environmental consequences of human activities. • To provide decision makers with information which defines the environmental effects of these activities and identifies opportunities for environmental improvements
  23. 23. GEO, 2010 LCA Applications External uses: • Marketing or support for specific environmental claims. • Labelling. • Public education and communication. • Policy making. • Supporting the establishment of purchasing procedures
  24. 24. GEO, 2010 LCA Applications Internal uses: • Strategic planning. • Product & process design, improvements & optimisation. • Identifying environmental improvement opportunities. • Support the establishment of purchasing procedures or specifications. • Environmental auditing & waste minimisation
  25. 25. GEO, 2010 assembly poly- aluminium extrusion + transport disposal in municipal waste disposal of in org. waste use paper duction filter pro- sheet steel stamping forming glass forming filters + coffee coffee roasting packaging water injection moulding bean styrene electricity Simplified Process Tree for a Coffee Machine
  26. 26. GEO, 2010 assembly poly- aluminium extrusion + transport disposal in municipal waste disposal of in org. waste use paper duction filter pro- sheet steel stamping forming glass forming filters + coffee coffee roasting packaging water injection moulding bean styrene electricity Process Tree:Amounts & Assumptions 7.3 kg 1 kg 0.1 kg 0.3 kg 0.4 kg White boxes are not included in the inventory 375 kWh
  27. 27. GEO, 2010 Impact Analysis 1. Define impact categories 2. Determine which loads affect different impact categories 3. Assign indicators to impact categories 4. Weigh importance of each category 27 Environmental ImpactEnvironmental Load greenhouse effect ozone layer depletion eutrophication depletion of abiotic resources (summer) smog acidification copper CO2 CFC SO2 NOx phosphorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) heavy metals PCB pesticides styrene eco-toxicity depletion of biotic resources human toxicity odour Scalar Indicator Scalar Indicator
  28. 28. GEO, 2010 Resource depletion Green house effect Depletion of ozone layer • Source: Use of copper, zinc, oil etc. • Effect: Reduction of possibilities for future generations • Source: Combustion (transport, energy etc.) • Effect: Increase in temperature, desert formation etc. • Source: CFC and HCFC from foam and coolants • Effect: UV radiation, skin cancer etc. Global Impact Categories
  29. 29. GEO, 2010 Regional Impact Categories Persistent toxicity Acidification Ozone formation Eutrofication • Source: Transport, energy, industry (Hydrocarbons etc.) • Effect: Ozone formation (Damage of lung tissue etc. ) • Source: Transport, energy, agriculture • Effect: Damage to woodlands, lakes and buildings (SOx, NOx, NH3 ) • Source: Fertilisers, waste water, transport and energy • Effect: Eutrophication (Damage to plants and fish) • Source: Waste water, incineration, industry, ships etc. • Effect: Accumulation: Chronic damage to ecosystems and organisms
  30. 30. GEO, 2010 Plastic versus Paper Bag • The paper bag causes more winter smog and acidification, but scores better on the other environmental effects. • The classification does not reveal which is the better bag. What is missing is the mutual weighting of the effects. Classification / Characterisation 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% greenhouse effect ozone layerdepletion acidification eutrophication heavy metals carcinogens winter smog summer smog pesticides Paper bag LDPE bag
  31. 31. GEO, 2010 Source: Electrolux 1998 • Calculated environmental impacts across the products life cycle • identifies and quantifies energy & materials used, waste emissions, etc • identifies improvement potentials
  32. 32. GEO, 2010 LCA of washing machines 98%2%Water Consumption 5%87% 1% 7%Solid Waste 96% 1% 4%Water Pollution 98%2%Air Pollution 96%4%Energy DisposalUseDistributionProduction
  33. 33. GEO, 2010 Ref: http://.... Thank you